Casual Elegant Knits

Posted on | September 7, 2008 | 4 Comments

Casual Elegant Knits by Faina Goberstein and Dawn Leeseman is a new book of patterns featuring wearable designs for men and women. The book is divided into three stories. The first story makes use of a limited, but classic color palette and is geared towards work and city life. The second story features more casual knits for weekend play and introduces a more colorful palette. The third story features accessories.

FG: First of all, Connie, I want to thank you for giving me a chance to visit with you this morning. I have to tell you that I am a huge admirer of your designs. I cannot wait to see your next one. I am delighted to tell your readers about some projects from our new book Casual, Elegant Knits. Do you have a project in mind that you want me to talk about?

CC: I found the Vintage Hat very interesting. What were your inspirations for it? I especially like the versatility of the long tie and the many different looks it gives the hat.

FG: This is one of my designs. It was inspired by the Art Deco period. It was the period of Coco Chanel in 1920s that gave a woman freedom from corsets. The hats became small, feminine, and relaxed. I always loved this look. I also love to wear my scarves by wrapping them around my head in different ways. Putting these two ideas together in a hat was interesting to me. The decorative cast-on was also chosen for the edge that adds to this look. This cast-on is not used very much in American design, but in Europe it is well known. I just put the video on my
CC: As a designer, I find myself designing things that I would like to wear. How do you work as a designer? Do you design for yourself mainly or for other people?

FG: Most of the time I design for my family and me. I am lucky that my daughter, my son, and my husband love to have nice and stylish clothes. When I design for a magazine or a book, I think more about the audience I am trying to target, but my fashion vision does not change that much from what I want to wear myself.

CC: Have you knit many of your design pieces for your own wardrobe? What is your favorite knitted garment?

FG: If you mean designs from the book, I made both skirts, all the hats and scarves for myself. My favorites are the Little Flirt Skirt and the Red Waves Beret. I made many projects from our book for my family. Dawn’s Polo Shirt is a favorite of my husband.

CC: How did you and your co-author split up the work for the book? Did you each take on a particular “story” or did both of you design some pieces for each story?

FG: This is a great question. We worked very closely together at the beginning of the project. That part was involving coming up with the vision, breaking it into parts, thinking through what these two people would want to wear on different occasions, what color scheme to choose, what particular pieces of clothing they will have on, etc. After all that was set-up, we decided who would design this or that piece. Some things were naturally going into my or Dawn’s basket. All felted item had to be Dawn’s. I do not do felting. All hats and scarves were more up my alley as well as skirts. The rest was split between us. I took women’s sweaters; Dawn took men’s sweaters. We worked separately for a while, but were consulting with each other. When all the garments and patterns were done, we got together every day and worked on formatting and editing of the patterns and all other writings and paperwork that needs to be done. We did not think about letting our readers know whose design it is because it was such a close collaboration, but now we wish we did. We are both on Ravelry, so that is the only place where we divided our designs. We still feel attached to all of them in some way.

FG: I wanted to ask about your recent publications. It seems to me that every magazine I pick up, your design is there and it is wonderful. What should we expect to see in the near future?

CC: Thanks for the compliment! Well, I have a few things coming up in various Interweave publications, a few things in the new online magazine, The Twist Collective and hopefully a few more self published patterns.

FG: Connie, thank you so much for this interesting conversation. I hope people will be making many projects from our book and use my video on my blog. I did not add any sound there. I think people will let me know if I need to do it.

Tomorrow we will be talking with Marie Grace Smith of Marie Grace Designs about the four brioche stitches that we used in this book. I hope your readers will be there.

CC: Thank you for stopping by, Faina! And congratulations to you and Dawn on the publication of your book.


4 Responses to “Casual Elegant Knits”

  1. Veronique
    September 8th, 2008 @ 2:35 pm

    Great interview! I had not even heard of the book, and now I’m curious to check it out.

  2. Faina Goberstein
    September 8th, 2008 @ 10:52 pm

    Connie, Thank you again for this interview. I am looking forward to your new designs.

  3. zoesmomdebbie
    September 9th, 2008 @ 1:35 pm

    Hi Connie,

    I love your blog and read you whenever I happen to stumble across you again. Any chance you’ll put an RSS feed button on here so I can subscribe to it?



  4. Julia (MindofWinter)
    September 19th, 2008 @ 8:38 pm

    Another good interview with Faina! I love being able to read about her process – so glad you hosted her.

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